Saturday, October 8, 2011

Parks and Recreation, Part I

This is part of the opening statement in Dunwoody's Parks and Recreation Master plan:
Public input is the most critical component in developing a comprehensive plan for a Parks and Recreation Division. The citizens are the participants in and users of the parks system and recreation programs, and without strong support and usage by them, the parks system becomes ineffective. For the plan to be effective in improving service delivery and facilities, it must accurately reflect the facilities and programs most desired by the community.

There are two bonds on the ballot.  I did not put them there, neither did any of the mayoral candidates, neither did the two people running for office in district 2, and neither did one of my opponents.  The candidates currently  have no influence on these bond issues.  I get one vote for each bond, same as every resident.  None of the candidates have any control if the bonds pass or fail. The next council will decide how funds are spent if one or both bonds pass.

When I am out talking to people parks is the number one question.  It seems to be the litmus test for candidates.  Instead of asking candidates about high density apartments, zoning, trash service options, road paving, expansion of the police department, or something else, people want to know where candidates stand on parks. What I really think they are asking is 'how will you spend the money if it passes'?

Is Callihan for an active or passive Brook Run?  Would Dallas want three baseball fields?  Would Davis push for a renovation of the Donaldson farm?  Does Wittenstein still favor moving baseball to Brook Run?  Would Deutsch vote to buy apartments and knock them down?  Is Nall interested in a joint venture with DeKalb schools to improve the fields at Peachtree Middle? Does de Vallette like one bond over the other? Does Jackson support selling or keeping the PVC farm?

Issue #1 - Every Dunwoody voter will vote yes or no on allowing the city to borrow up to $33 million to buy land.  The $33 million is for land only, no development of the property.
The city has already contracted about 20+ acres of land, contingent upon the passing of this bond.  That land was NOT destined to have apartments.  It was NOT zoned for apartments.  It was NOT going to be rezoned for apartments.  It is zoned Office/Industrial.  Eventually it would be the home to tax-paying employers. Two things we need in Dunwoody: tax revenue and jobs.  These two things will never come to this prime location if made into a park. 

Issue #2 - Every Dunwoody voter will vote yes or no on allowing the city to borrow up to $33 million to spend on improving parks and buying land

What is an improvement to a park?  What one person calls an improvement, another calls an intrusion.  As an example, I doubt the average voters knows that the current Parks Master Plan calls for $2 million for a new theater in Brook Run yet has ZERO sports fields. What would current council do if they had the $33 million today?  Go to the city web site and take a look at the Parks Master Plan.      

When I fist caught wind of  the idea to increase revenue to the city (slightly increased taxes) to improve park amenities I was open to the idea, but wanted to learn more.  I spoke to a few people, thought about the current parks, and decided I'd be willing to pay a little more for certain things.  I do that every day of my life.  I can order a cheese pizza at Mellow Mushroom, or I can pay a little extra and get ham or sausage added.  But when the parks master plan (and price tag) came back, I was surprised. I was expecting something in the $8 million range, not $33 million.

In regards to the parks and land bonds coming up, I think we need to know the purpose of it all.  An often stated goal of folks in favor of more parks/land is the desire to increase acres per resident.  This is a flawed goal.  For those in favor of the parks/green space bonds, citing a goal to simply add more is not the way to win (pass the bonds).

Currently we have 160 acres of parks.  Well, not really parks - we have 160 acres categorized as parks.  Anyone who has ever made the short drive to Morgan Falls park in Sandy Springs or visited a park anywhere outside of Dunwody knows we have inferior 'parks' - we have land designated as parks, but for the most part they are not really parks.  The city has allowed the Donaldson Chesnut house to nearly fall apart from the inside out.  Water leaks there are driving costs of renovation higher and higher.  The city mows the lawn and that's about it.  It's a shame we spend $100,000 for a copycat logo and branding and ignore a piece of history. The city council just approved spending $39,000 for a study on signs and monuments while an actual monument at the intersection of Vermack and Chamblee Dunwoody Roads fades away. Maybe the city should do a 100 year lease ($1 a year) of the Donaldson place to the Dunwoody Preservation Trust.  It's obvious the city has no  interest currently in investing any money into the place - why not pass it off to a group that actually cares about it?

Anyway, back to the bonds and land and parks.  According to some national think-tank Dunwoody should have 460 acres of park space based on our number of residents.  I think that figure needs thrown out the window.  No one is suggesting we have 460 acres (I take that back, some of you may want 460 acres and would try to accomplish that by knocking down subdivisions in your quest to 'green' Dunwoody).  Our magic number is 250 acres of parks/green space in the parks plan.  Where did the 250 figure come from?  It came from a consultant at a Parks and Recreation committee meeting.  He told us 460 was impossible and that we should aim for a more realistic number.  He told us 250 was that number. We have 160 acres, the consultant says we need 250 acres, so the quest for 90 acres is on.

If our goal is simply to get to a magical number of 250 acres for the sake of having a certain number of acres per resident then Dunwoody should buy 90 acres in Dade County (NW corner of GA) for $5000 an acre, then have our city manager work out an IGA (Interngovernmental Agreement) with Dade County whereas Dunwoody residents can use the 90 acres at their leisure.  City Hall could then announce to the world that we have X acres of green space per resident, we are awarded Gold status by the Sustainability Posse, and life is good.  If our goal is to simply have 250 acres, then why not?

I know, 90 empty acres in Dade County is not worth much to anyone in Dunwoody (except those interested in spring gobbler season).  But I hope you get my point.  The bonds issue should NOT be about accumulating acres of land for the sake of accumulating land to reach some artificial ratio.  The bonds should be about what will you do with parks to make my life better, to make my home more valuable, to make my life and/or my kids' life in Dunwoody more enjoyable, to improve quality of life in Dunwoody, and to make Dunwoody attractive to new families and businesses

If you want to improve Dunwoody then don't tell us we need land just for the sake of having land - that is ridiculous.  Tell us how these bonds will improve our quality of life.  Tell us how in five years residents won't have to drive to Chamblee, Roswell, Sandy Springs, Decatur, and Roswell for outdoor activities.  Please don't tell us we need 90 additional acres because a consultant said we need 90 additional acres.

People I talk to want land with a purpose.  They want a Dunwoody tennis center, they want a field for girls lacrosse, they want baseball fields, they want a nice walking trail around Brook Run, they want a nice playground on the north side of the city.  They want to preserve some history.  They don't want to pay $200+ a month for 30 years on a big chunk of undeveloped undevelopable acres off Vermack Road just to say Dunwoody has 250 acres of green space.

Today, a couple hundred of Dunwoody families will drive their kids to Murphy Candler, to Morgan Falls, to Hammond Park, to tennis academies in east Cobb and Norcross, to Dynamo, to NASA, to Concorde Fire, to other areas.  The question these voters need to ask is, "Okay, what do I get out of $216 a year or $240 a year?"  "How do these bonds make my life better and my city better?"  A majority of Dunwoody residents do not care about how many acres of green space/parks per resident.  That figure means nothing to the average taxpayer!

NOTE: $216 a year is what you, owner of a $350,000 home, would pay per year, on two bonds - $240 a year for a $500,000 home.

What does matter are the details - details not available in the current parks plan.  Originally we had $8 million for baseball fields and pretty much $0 for soccer, lacrosse, and tennis.  That sounds great, if you have a baseball player in the family (ages 13-18 only).  If one or both bonds pass would other sports be addressed?  We do not know.  That's the problem.  Council never committed to anything specific in regards to organized sports. The current Master Parks Plan has ZERO fields dedicated to organized sports in it.

If you have young kids and you plan to vote YES for bonds, please read the prior sentence again.

I know, the next council can ignore the Master Parks Plan and do what they want.  That's the problem.  Those of you wanting improvements to the Donaldson Chesnut house - there are no guarantees the city council would allocate a dime to this place.  Current council has done little there - what makes you think the next council would if it is not specified in the bond language?  Same goes for the Dunwoody Nature center.  You DNC folks think you'll get a new building?  Maybe, maybe not.

Trust council we are told.  During preliminary discussions I wondered why baseball was pushed so hard.  I've got no issues with baseball, but I do have a problem with baseball being the lone organized sport ever discussed in the master plan for parks.  Lots of big-hitters in the city are involved with Dunwoody Senior baseball. Just because Dunwoody Senior baseball has been using (and maintaining) the fields here for years does not mean taxpayers pay $120 a year for 30 years (cost of one bond) to build a new baseball complex while other sports are totally ignored.If the city commits to baseball, then why not girls lacrosse or Concorde Fire? There was a survey conducted at the beginning of this process.  Other sports ranked higher than baseball in that survey. See image above for survey results.

I played baseball from age 5 to 19.  As a kid some of my best memories are playing baseball, and looking back, I'm glad we had fields close to home to play on.  I'm not upset with the kids playing baseball or the adults with baseball players in their family, but I need explained to me why baseball was the only sport ever seriously discussed by council. If the baseball people want baseball fields, they should also be in favor of supporting other organized sports in Dunwoody.  Maybe they are already.

The big question in all this is Will Dunwoody seriously enter the organized sports business or not? That is what future councils will decide. Once that question is answered, then a new bond should be presented.

Two Brook Run Parks
For your consideration, I present two approaches to Brook Run Park.  I think it is very difficult to combine passive and active programs at Brook Run. The two don't mix.
passive park

active park

Imagine a Brook Run with three baseball fields, two soccer fields, a lacrosse field, a football field, 16 tennis courts, two basketball courts, volleyball courts, and of course Frisbee golf.  It can be done, and it would appeal to many in Dunwoody.  It would be an active park, with active kids and active adults, and activities. The active Brook Run would rival Morgan Falls.  It would keep more Dunwoody kids in Dunwoody.

Remove all the buildings at Brook Run (except green houses), Remove all the inner paved roads, remove the skate park, remove the dog park  Have one parking lot up front, one off Peeler.  Create walking paths, walking trails, bike paths, bike trails, picnic tables, picnic pavilions, some open fields.  100% passive. No trees cut, no need for a bond.  This could be accomplished with the $5 million expected from DeKalb County.  It would be similar to the Big Tree Forest Preserve in nearby Roswell.

If the passive plan is accepted for Brook Run, then use the newly acquired PVC farm for athletic fields.  Fill it with as many fields as possible.  Perhaps three baseball and three soccer/lacrosse fields.  Seek private/public partnerships to keep costs down. An active park in this area, I contend, would help spawn new retail in the Georgetown area. There are talks that the city will sell part or all of the PVC location (confirmed by the city manager at the last DHA meeting).  We were told this property was bought to stop apartments and to add to our green-space.
a park in neighboring Sandy Springs

The big picture on bonds and parks is will the city seriously enter the organized sports arena?  Cities like Roswell and Sandy Springs (higher taxes than us, no doubt) do a great job.  One issue we have in Dunwoody, starting from scratch, is trying to do everything at one time.  That's why the bonds are $66 million dollars.  If the city were to focus on one segment this year, then maybe a different segment of parks and rec in two years, maybe it would be better received. The stumbling block for bond supporters is the wide variety of plans for the $33 million.  Council tried to give a little bit to everyone;  A new $2 million theater for the thespian crowd, a new and improved working farm and entertainment complex to appeal to the Preservation crowd, etc.    

During the writing of the Parks master Plan did the city council pay too much attention catering to special interest groups and forget about the families with young children?
"Vote for parks" young families are told. Meanwhile, the Master Parks Plan has a $2 million theater and $3 million for restoring and commercializing the Donaldson Chesnut house, $3 million for the nature center, a whopping $13 million in green-ways and $0 million for sports fields. 

So what is the answer? If the bonds fail this year is our city doomed? Quite the contrary.  Stay tuned for Part II.


Thursday, October 6, 2011

City Update by Councilman Shortal

Good evening my fellow citizens .... the following are some update items of interest ....

1. Paving .... Paving is a good thing!! The paving of streets thru out the city is moving forward. Stripping and bike lanes, where applicable, are now being painted on the streets that have been completed. For those of you that live on the west side of town the paving of Roberts Dr has been moved back and will start this Friday (OCT 7th) at about 8:30 AM - weather permitting. The reason for the move back is that the schools are closed this Friday and Monday and it was felt this would reduce the traffic congestion on Roberts Dr. My hint to all of you is to avoid Roberts Dr on these four days to the max extent possible ... go around, use the back way to go to your destination, etc. .... again, avoid Roberts Dr OCT 7th thru the 10th and remember that "paving requires patience." 

2. Sidewalks .... Construction on the sidewalk on Valley View has commenced. Construction on Happy Hollow sidewalks will follow. This will be a great enhancement to the quality of life of all the citizens who live in these areas.

3. Election ... My first of several updates. For complete information on the upcoming NOV 8, 2011 election go to this website ... .... Items of importance on this page:
            - In the center of this web page you will see "A List of Sample Ballots" ... just go down and click on "City of Dunwoody" ... Remember, this is a city wide election and all citizens get to vote on candidates for ALL four offices.
            - Further down on the above website click on "Election Calendar" ... Here you will note that the last day to Register to Vote, for the upcoming Nov 8, 2011 election, is OCT 11, 2011. You will also note that if a runoff is required it will be held on DEC 6, 2011. Please mark these dates on your calendar. 
            - To register to vote, click on "Voter Information" (second item on the top left of the above website) ... The second item that will appear in the center of this page is "Voter Registration " .... fill out the prepaid postage application and mail it in. Make sure you follow the instructions carefully. You should receive acknowledgement in 2 - 4 weeks. Remember OCT 11, 2011 is the deadline to apply and you must register if you have moved within state since last registering or have moved in from outside the state of Georgia.
            - If you are going to vote "absentee" by mail click on "Absentee Application" ... this is the second item from the  bottom in the center of the "Voter Information" page. Fill out the application and fax it in (404-294-4038) or mail the application to "Voter Registration, 4380 Memorial Dr, Suite 300, Decatur, GA 30032" and a ballot will be mailed to you. Absentee voting by mail is already open and ballots are being mailed out as of today. If you want to vote "absentee" in person you must go to directly to the Voter Registration Office noted above on Monday thru Friday between the hours of 8:00AM - 4:00PM. Absentee voting in person is open from OCT 17th thru Nov 4th. 
            - "Advanced Voting" will be open from OCT 31 thru NOV 4th from 8 AM to 4 PM. There is only one advanced voting location ... 4380 Memorial Dr, Suite 300, Decatur, GA 30032... which is just inside I-285. 
            - Identification (ID) ... Anyone voting in person via absentee, advanced or on election day must have a valid government issued photo ID.
            - As a personal request, I ask each of you to exercise your privilege to vote .... a lot of great Americans have given their lives defending your voting privilege. 

A general comment on the upcoming city election. Up for election are the Mayor's seat and three At-Large City Council seats. Remember this is an at-large election and all Dunwoody citizens gets to vote on candidates for ALL four offices. There are candidates running for these offices with very different philosophical, political and fiscal philosophies. I ask you to become informed on where the candidates stand on the issues not only on what they say but more importantly judge them by their actions ... past and present. As we all know actions are more important than words. Ask the candidates the hard questions and make them give you a straight forward answer. Know who is providing financial support for the candidates and who is on their campaign staff ... is it you the local citizens, or is it outside interest folks (meaning folks outside Dunwoody)? If it is outside interest then this should raise a "red flag". Your vote will determine the future of our City .... are we going to continue to enhance our infrastructure in a prudent fiscal pay as-you-go manner or, are we going to accumulate massive debts like the majority of the cities which are now in financial ruins across our nation? Remember there is a big difference between needs and wants and having "money in the bank" is a good thing!

4. Parks ... Someone recently said that I am against parks .... that is an untrue statement. I like parks and as proof that I present these facts ... I coached baseball at Murphy Candler and Dunwoody Senior parks for 10 years, I had the idea to start the Dunwoody Volunteer Coordination Committee (DVCC) and over the last two years we have had several hundred volunteer workers (that means no cost to you the good citizens of DunwoodyDVCC volunteers. I think my actions compare very favorably to what anyone else in our City has done to enhance our parks. Now what am I against ... I am against saddling you, our great citizens, with massive debt and high taxes!! I promised you when I was Co-chairman of Dunwoody Yes and when I ran for City Council that I would work to keep your taxes low .... I assure each of you I will keep my promise!!!

            PVC Farm ... We have closed on the 16 acre PVC Farm. The total price was approx. $5.2 million which we financed over a seven year period at about a 2.2% interest rate. I was in favor of this purchase as it is an "eyesore" and it was zoned multi-family thus, anywhere from 300 - 500 apartments could have been built there. I am not against apartments but I ran for office on the platform of "having the right mix of single and multi-family homes." I think we have more than an ample number of multi-family rental home. We closed on this property with a couple of legal issues still outstanding. That makes me a little uncomfortable but I have been assured the issues are not majors ones.  

            Hospital Site Property  ..... This is the old Emory Hospital on Shallowford Rd. There are 19 acres there and as part of the package deal was the purchase of 5 acres directly west of the intersection of Peachford Rd and Shallowford Rd. The City has signed a "letter of intent" to purchase the 19 acres for $6,100,000 and 5 acres for $1,430,000. We are currently in a "45 day free look period" which includes appraisals, environmental test, title search, etc. Unlike the PVC Farm where we had only one appraisal, I have requested and I thank the Council Members for agreeing to now have two appraisals on all property purchases above $500,000 and under some circumstances a third appraisal will be required. Purchases under $500,000 will still require only one appraisal. The purchase of the 19 acres is dependent on your vote on the Parks Bond Referendum .... if the Parks Bond Referendum get voted down the purchase of the 19 acres is null and void. The 5 acre parcel purchase will be consummated at the end of the "45 day free look period" if all requirement are satisfactory. The stated purpose of these 5 acres is to extend Peachford Rd west of Shallowford Rd .... the one problem with this is that more property must be purchased to connect Peachford Rd westward to an existing road. I voted against both of these purchases for the following reasons:
            - The 19 acre property is less than 2/10 of a mile from the PVC Farm .... why do you need a 16 and a 19 acres park only a "stones throw" apart?
            - The property is zoned O&I and thus is not eligible to have multi-family (or any other kind of homes) built on it unless the Council changes the zoning ... which I don't think has any support from this Council.
            - The 5 acres purchase will come out of the general fund and add this $1,430,000 to the $5,200,000 for the PVC Farm we will have either $6,630,000 debt or our reserves are reduced by $6,630,000. Park Bond funds can't be used for these two purchases. After the 5 acre purchase, the owner of the property that we need to complete the road extension knows we need his property ... he maybe hard to deal with. 
            - We paid too much for the 19 and 5 acres parcels. Concerning the 19 acre parcel, I went to the presentation by the group that is promoting the Park Bond Referendum on Sunday night. Their slides showed a cost of $280,000/ acre .... these figures are low as the actual cost / acre of the 19 acre package is approx. $321,000/acre. There is also noted in their slides that several years ago the owners of this property turned down a $1,000,000/acre therefore the price we are paying is a good buy .... that is like saying in 2007 Bank America stock was $52 / share but does that mean it is a good buy today at $5/share .. not hardly.
A local commercial real estate person told me there is no current market for O&I zoned property, that the City is the only buyer in town and he wouldn't pay more than $100,000/acre ... I think that might be a little low but in my opinion it is not worth more than $150,000 to $200,000/acre .... at the maximum.  
            - There are a lot of developers, etc. out there with plenty of money in their pockets that deal in this type of property .... If the acreage we are buying is such a "good buy" why aren't these folks buying these properties?? That is a very good question!
            - At our purchase cost, the city will lose over $20,000 in annual tax revenue from the 19 and 5 acre parcels which amounts to over $600,000 over the 30 year period of the proposed bonds. 

5. Recycling .... My thanks to all of you who started recycling and joined the "Blue Box Brigade." As I go running (it is hard to call what I do running these days) and cycling thru the neighborhoods on Wednesday mornings I see a continuous increase in the number of citizens recycling. It is a win/win situation and BTW I am a convert to this cause. Go to this website ... Residential Subscription Curbside Recycling Application ... to join the "Blue Box Brigade" and to start recycling. It only cost $30 and DC will deliver to your home a "beautiful blue" plastic recycling box and 200 blue bags ... that is about a four year supply of bags. 
6. Street Signs .... If you have road/information signs in front of your home or business I have ask you to grab a bucket with soap and water, a brush and a ladder and help beautify our City by cleaning these signs. As I drive around I see a lot of clean signs ... my thanks to all of you that have cleaned your signs. Also, if you have a neighbor that is having some health issues please do the neighborly thing and clean their signs. 

7. Leaves ... Fall is coming and the leaves are starting to fall off the trees. As a reminder please ensure you don't put your leaves down our storm sewer drains as the leaves tend to clog up our storm sewers and this will add to our already high maintenance cost that we are incurring with the storm sewer problems. Many thanks for your compliance
   8. Music Festival .... The second annual Dunwoody Music Festival will be held OCT 22 - 23, 2011 at our Brook Run Park. This was a big hit last year and Bill Grant has informed me it is going to be even bigger and better this year. Mark your calendar now for this big time event. Bring your chairs and prepare for a great weekend!

   9. Clean, Fix and Shine-Up Dunwoody Day (CFSUDD) ...... Our third annual CFSUDD will be held on NOV 5, 2011. There will be several hundred volunteers working on numerous projects to enhance our City. Approx. 200 volunteers will be painting the remainder of our fire hydrants, another group will be gluing the required placards on our storm sewer drain covers, another approx. 200 volunteers will be working in our parks re-striping the parking lot at Brook Run (BR), trail cleaning, trimming and blazing new trails at BR, Windwood Hollow and Perimeter Center East parks, repairing two foot bridges at DNC, repairing bridges at BR, working on the steps at Vernon Oaks North park and another approx. 40 volunteers will be doing Mayor Wright's # 1 project ... and since it is the Mayor's # 1 it also # 1 project ... cleaning the entry and exit ways on I-285 leading in and out of our City. Our local churches in Dunwoody spearhead this effort ... North Atlanta Church of Christ, Dunwoody Baptist, St Lukes Presbyterian, Life Center Church and All Saints Catholic Church and their Knights Of Columbus. Dunwoody United Methodist Church has their volunteer day on Oct 15th in support of our City. This year the Dunwoody Student Volunteers and various Boy Scout Troops for thru out our City have joined our volunteer work. On behalf of the Mayor and City Council I thank all of you for setting the example of what responsible citizenry is all about. I also recognized Jim Maloney and Bill Tobin, Chairman and past Chairman respectively, of the DVCC, for the work and dedication on this volunteer effort.   
That is about it for tonight. Please pass this on to your friends, neighbors, members of your HOA or anyone else you maybe interested. If anyone want to be added to my email list please let me know and I will make it happen. Thanks for your continued positive support of our City .... it is a large source of encouragement to me.

Let Us Continue To Build Our City Together

Denny Shortal
Dunwoody City Council, District One, Post-1
Mayor Pro Tem

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

911 Fees on Your Telephone Bills

We are now officially a member of ChatComm.  Everyone in Dunwoody needs to check their phone bills (home and mobile) and make sure Dunwoody is listed as the recipient. 

Bike Around Dunwoody Today

Please join hosts
Rob and Sydney Weaver and Lindsay Ballow
for a

Bike Ride Around Dunwoody


Jere Wood, Mayor of Roswell
Fred Boykin, Decatur Councilmember & Owner of BicycleSouth
Dan Thornton, Owner of Free-Flite Bicycles & President, National Bicycle Dealers Association
Bob Dallas, Dunwoody Mayoral Candidate

Tuesday, October 4th, 2011
Kicking off from:
Mellow Mushroom
5575 Chamblee Dunwoody Road
Dunwoody, GA 30338

6:00 p.m.* – Bike Ride (10-15 mile comfortable ride on the back roads of Dunwoody)
7:15 p.m.– Meet and Greet with Bob, Jere and friends at Mellow Mushroom

Pizza and refreshments served following ride.
 Rider Note: Please wear a helmet and bring a taillight.
 In case of rain, ride will be canceled, but meet and greet will proceed as scheduled.


* This event is not meant to conflict with scheduled Dunwoody Cycling “See & Be Seen” ride at 6:30pm. 
For those participants, please feel free to drop in for pizza and to meet Bob following the regular ride.

Event  Details:

Monday, October 3, 2011

Pumpkin and Pepper Harvest

I was watching the DeKalb School Board meeting online and just had to get outside and take a break. Tomorrow is food pantry day for Team Food Pantry at the Brook Run garden so I took the opportunity to harvest in the evening instead of the chilly morning. 
a few pounds of peppers, perhaps the last of the season (about 75 pounds donated this year)

Dunwoody pumpkins
My youngest daughter and I planted pumpkin seeds about 100 days ago
For those of you wanting pumpkins I saw the kids selling tonight at Dunwoody Methodist church.  There was word of a pumpkin shortage this year but I've seen many around.  Perhaps buy early.

Growing produce is like running a business or being a member of city council.  You must first determine your needs and plan accordingly.  Make a budget, using your resources wisely.  Don't plant more than you can maintain.  Rid your garden of rodents.  Don't let your hard work rot on the vine.

Straight Outta Dunwoody